January 17, 2011
If the reports that came out last weekend are correct, we may not be done with the whole "illegal special teams wall" thing. We of course know that New York Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi was caught tripping Miami Dolphins special teams gunner Nolan Carroll(notes) -- with malice aforethought -- during the 2010 season.
Now, it appears that the New England Patriots may have done the same thing ... which is exactly what Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff said was happening after the NFL fined the Jets $100,000 for Alosi's actions. As FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported over the weekend, one Patriots player can be seen on video, trying to trip a Jets gunner, during the New York-New England Week 2 game:
Glazer also said that the Jets found this out when they signed an (unnamed) ex-Pats player to their practice squad, and that player told the Jets' coaching staff that "when we were with the Patriots, we did the exact same thing, and almost got you guys."
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Glazer points out that if the Jets had sent that video to the league, it might have been the Pats who were fined instead of the Jets, but as much as I respect Glazer's work, I think he's missing an important thread of the narrative here. If the Jets knew that other teams were doing this, that makes Alosi even dumber for trying it himself. It would be as if another team or individual -- maybe even someone who was on the team at the time -- tried a "Spygate" end run after everything that happened in 2007.
The NFL has had no official statement on this news, but you can bet it's not at all happy about it. In an era in which Roger Goodell and his henchmen are going overboard to "protect the shield" and keep the NFL's reputation of integrity in all things (at least as the league office perceived it) on the up and up. I remember Jimmy Johnson's comments about Spygate right after it happened; he said something to the effect that we don't want to know how many teams are doing this.
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And it seems that whenever there's a scandal like this, it's never just one team or one individual.
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